Research in Motion is partnering with The New York Times for a three-pronged marketing campaign for its new phone, the BB10, running today. In addition to being the founding sponsor of Opportunities for Tomorrow, the Times' inaugural DealBook conference taking place at the Times Center on Wednesday, RIM is taking over the Times' home page and running a print spadia wrap on a special print edition of DealBook.
This is the first time any advertiser has purchased these three channels simultaneously, said Andy Wright, VP-advertising at the Times. The Times would not disclose the size of the deal, saying only that it was "substantial," a word that a Times spokeswoman said the company does not use very often.
Opportunities for Tomorrow will include a BB10 product demonstration conducted by RIM's head of software, Vivek Bhardwaj, during lunch. The entire conference will be available to website visitors via live stream, so long as they have a Times digital subscription or have not yet used their monthly allotment of 10 free articles.
Live events are particularly important for the BB10 campaign as RIM wants to display its new technology to the most influential figures from Silicon Valley and Wall Street . RIM will certainly get that chance tomorrow as the list of speakers includes Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo among others.
RIM will also be sponsoring the Times' Energy for Tomorrow conference on April 11.
The home-page takeover includes a sneak peek into the functionality of BlackBerry Hub, an integral feature of RIM's new BlackBerry 10 OS. In the home-page takeover, visitors can see how Hub -- which aggregates a user's emails, texts, BBMs, social feed notifications and calendar appointments into a single interface -- could be used to discover New York Times content.
Mr. Wright said RIM chose to advertise with DealBook, the Times' financial news section, so it could reach professionals. BlackBerrys were once synonymous with professionalism, but RIM's market share has fallen steeply in recent years and experts project that will continue. A report released by research firm IDC last week predicted BlackBerry's operating system market share to fall from 4.7% this year to 4.1% in 2016.
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